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Jonny Bairstow has flown home for family reasons

Bairstow flies home from England's T20 tour of India for family reasons

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UPDATED:

06:23 GMT, 21 December 2012

Jonny Bairstow has returned home early from England's tour of India, for family reasons.

Bairstow, left out of last night's first Twenty20 International in Pune when England preferred Jos Buttler to keep wicket, subsequently discovered during that match that he was needed at home.

The Yorkshireman will be unavailable for tomorrow's tour-ending final Twenty20 in Mumbai, having flown to England this morning.

Heading home: Jonny Bairstow will not feature in England's final T20 game after flying home for family reasons

Heading home: Jonny Bairstow will not feature in England's final T20 game after flying home for family reasons

India v England T20: Eoin Morgan relishing the mayhem ahead of Pune and Mumbai

I will relish the 'mayhem', says stand-in skipper Morgan as England prepare for India's T20 assault

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 19 December 2012

A bigger crowd than any that watched the Test series here will see an England side stripped of many of their leading players and without either of their head coaches embark on one last challenge of an overcrowded year.

This two-match Twenty20 series, bizarrely shoe-horned into the calendar now rather than before the 50-over matches next month, has the feel of two games too many for England, with team director Andy Flower joining the exodus of players who made a rapid departure from India once their Test business was complete in Nagpur on Monday.

Ashley Giles, the new limited-overs coach, will not begin until the one-day series in January so Richard Halsall, Flower’s assistant, takes charge here and in Mumbai on Saturday of a side without four of their leading short-form players in captain Stuart Broad, Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann and Steven Finn.

Up against it: A depleted England, led by Eoin Morgan, will take India on at the own game

Up against it: A depleted England, led by Eoin Morgan, will take India on at the own game

What’s left of England will face an India team who thrashed them in the last World Twenty20 by 90 runs, in front of an expected 50,000 at a new stadium which bears an uncanny resemblance to Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl, only bigger.

It is then a stiff task for England but one that stand-in captain Eoin Morgan, starved of any meaningful action on this tour, is relishing.

It is indeed a sign of the hectic times that a man who could not get a game in the Test series now finds himself catapulted into the short-form captaincy.

Watching brief

India (probable): Gambhir, Rahane, Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Raina, Yuvraj, Jadeja, Dhoni (capt and wkt), Ashwin, Dinda, Awana.

England (probable): Hales, Wright, Bairstow, Morgan (capt), Patel, Buttler (wkt), Bresnan, Tredwell, Meaker, Dernbach, Briggs.

Umpires: C Shansuddin, S Asnani (Ind).

TV umpire: V Kulkarni (Ind).

Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZ).

TV: LIVE on Sky Sports 1 from 1pm;
match starts at 1.30pm.

‘It’s a great opportunity for me against one of the best sides in the world in their backyard,’ said Morgan. ‘It’s a challenge I’m looking forward to.

‘It’s going to be mayhem here and in Mumbai and performing under pressure is what the selectors want.’

Morgan, one of England’s most accomplished Twenty20 players, is one of the few in this squad with experience of the Indian Premier League even though he has not played at a stadium which will be staging its first international.

His advice to team-mates who will never have seen anything like this, not even at the Ageas Bowl, will be to keep it simple.

‘I think the biggest tip I got before I played in front of such big crowds was, “Just back yourself”,’ said Morgan. ‘The ball remains the same size, the field’s the same and they still have 11 players.’

One player who knows all about big Twenty20 crowds is Luke Wright, who forced himself back in the England team with his success in the IPL and, most particularly, Australia’s Big Bash. He has been playing for the Melbourne Stars in the last couple of weeks and will return there after Christmas.

Big hitter: Luke Wright flies into India from the Big Bash

Big hitter: Luke Wright flies into India from the Big Bash

‘I haven’t spoken to Wrighty yet but I will because his experience of domestic cricket around the world will be invaluable,’ said Morgan. ‘We’ve seen in the Big Bash that he’s performing just as he was in the World Twenty20.’

That World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka saw England make a meek and disappointing defence of their trophy but this can hardly be seen as the first steps towards the next one in Bangladesh in 2014 because so many are missing.

The Indian board wanted England to stay for Christmas to move into the limited-overs leg without a break, but when the tourists refused, this compromise was made. The 50-over team will come back in early January for five matches.

It is far from satisfactory but such are the modern demands on players that it is understandable and at least these games provide more invaluable experience for exciting young talents like Somerset batsman Jos Buttler, Hampshire spinner Danny Briggs and, if he gets a chance, Middlesex seamer James Harris, who was added to the squad when Broad had to pull out.

Big hitter: Job Buttler will be handed the chance to shine on the subcontinent

Big hitter: Job Buttler will be handed the chance to shine on the subcontinent

As well as having an opportunity to impress the selectors, England’s young guns are also in the IPL window. So far only Morgan and Pietersen among England players have lucrative contracts for the next cash-fest but the problem, as Indian captain MS Dhoni said yesterday, is one of availability.
Any centrally contracted England player can only play for a month at most in the IPL before they have to report back for the early summer Test series.

‘If the England players could be here for 45-50 days I could see a lot of them coming to the IPL,’ said Dhoni. ‘You have to be a special player, like Kevin Pietersen, for a franchise to say, “Let’s bank on this player”, even if he is only available for a few games.’

Jonny Bairstow kept wicket when England last played a Twenty20 match in Sri Lanka, but even in the absence of Craig Kieswetter, he may be forced to share the keeping responsibilities here with Buttler. Both took the gloves during practice under the Pune lights.

James Anderson and Jonathan Trott rested as England call up Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler to ODI squad

Anderson and Trott to sit out one-day series in India as England call up Woakes and Buttler

PUBLISHED:

06:30 GMT, 18 December 2012

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UPDATED:

06:30 GMT, 18 December 2012

James Anderson and Jonathan Trott have been replaced in England's one-day squad to face India by Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler.

Woakes and Buttler get their chance
as two of the stars of England's Test series victory are given a rest,
the ECB confirmed this morning, while another man who impressed in
Nagpur, Joe Root, has been added to the Twenty20 squad.

Called up: Chris Woakes

Called up: Chris Woakes

Root, more known for his prowess in the longer form of the game, helps to pad out a threadbare squad which will be captained by Eoin Morgan in the absence of the injured Stuart Broad for this week's two T20 games.

The decision to rest in particular Anderson, who was only due to play in the first two of five one-day internationals scheduled for January, was perhaps no great surprise given his heavy workload in sapping conditions in the Test series.

An ECB statement read: 'Woakes and Buttler replace Anderson and Trott in [the] India ODI squad as [the] selectors look to manage workloads.'

Buttler, already a member of the T20 squad, has one ODI cap to his name, while Woakes memorably took six wickets against Australia in Brisbane in 2011.

Rested: James Anderson

Rested: James Anderson

LIVE: World Twenty20 – England v New Zealand

LIVE: England v New Zealand – the action from the World Twenty20 from Pallekele as it happens

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UPDATED:

10:49 GMT, 29 September 2012

Stay up to date with all the action from the second game of the Super Eight's between England and New Zealand in Sri Lanka with Sportsmail's unrivaled team. We'll deliver over-by-over coverage as the action
unfolds at Pallekele. Send me your thoughts on the action to [email protected] or via Twitter @TomBellwood

England v New Zealand: Essentials

England: SCJ Broad (captain), C Kieswetter (wicketkeeper), AD Hales, LJ Wright, EJG Morgan, JM Bairstow, JC Buttler, Tim Bresnan, GP Swann, ST Finn, Danny Briggs.

New Zealand (from): LRPL Taylor (captain), RJ Nicol, MJ Guptill, BB McCullum (wicketkeeper), KS Williamson, NL McCullum, JEC Franklin, DL Vettori, TG Southee, KD Mills, AF Milne.

Umpires: S Taufel (Aus) and A Rauf (Pak)

Third umpire: S Davis (Aus)

Match referee: J Srinath (Ind)

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10th over: New Zealand 58-3 (Williamson 13, Taylor 10)

Dross from Broad: banged in short, Taylor swivels and punches the ball in front of square for four runs. Kiwis need more boundaries and can fill their boots if England serve up more of that nonsense… which the England captain duly obliges with a delivery so short in barely makes it half way down the track. Eight runs from the over.

9th over: New Zealand 50-3 (Williamson 12, Taylor 5)

General consensus now is that this will be a low scoring match. Anything over 130-140 will be a massive will be a huge bonus for New Zealand. But with just four more from Swann's over, the Kiwis will be happy to make over three figures.

8th over: New Zealand 46-3 (Williamson 10, Taylor 3)

And now Stuart Broad joins the fray as England keep their foot right on the Kiwi's neck. No wicket, but few runs too – the perfect combination. Just four from the over.

7th over: New Zealand 42-3 (Williamson 9, Taylor 0)

New Zealand are making a hash of this. Swann nabs another wicket in his first over and the Kiwis are already staring down the barrel with their run rate ambling along at 6.6 an over.

WICKET! Rob Nicol c Bairstow b Swann 11

Looked as though Nicol had made solid enough a connection to clear the boundary but his lofted drive square is pouched by Bairstow at deep square leg.

6th over: New Zealand 39-2 (Nicol 10, Williamson 7)

Steven Finn's kicked the stumps over again. he's had this problem in the Tests and now it is irking the umpires in Pallekele. Williamson plays a beauty of a cut for a much needed boundary and then Finn kicks over the wicket and we wait an age to restart. Nicol clubs the final ball of the over mid-on for another four.

5th over: New Zealand 30-2 (Nicol 6, Williamson 2)

First change is Tim Bresnan. And it's a super start from Brezzle. Three singles dabbed on both sides and a no-ball. Excellent pressure in the over after a wicket. new Zealand will need to turn it on in the next couple of overs as they're already a touch behind on the run rate.

4th over: New Zealand 26-2 (Nicol 5, Williamson 0)

It's all going on. Pace, bounce, dip, duck, dodge and dive. Kieswetter can't handle Finn's bounce, the bails are kicked off and there are leg side byes in among that wicket.

WICKET! Brendon McCullum c Wright b Finn 10

Big, big wicket for England. The tournament's top scorer thus far goes on the hook, slices it and finds Luke Wright the rope at third man.

3rd over: New Zealand 19-1 (Nicol 3, McCullum 10)

Here we go. McCullum fancies this against Briggs. He's down the track and firing the ball back past the bowler twice in that over. Once along the deck, the second takes the aerial route. Nice.

Early breakthrough: Steven Finn took a wicket in his first over

Early breakthrough: Steven Finn took a wicket in his first over

2nd over: New Zealand 9-1 (Nicol 2, McCullum 0)

Steven Finn makes the breakthrough straight away. Looks like Guptill was done by the pace of the delivery as he was nowhere near hitting the ball. Brendon McCullum is at the crease now. He's been in fine fettle in this tournament thus far.

WICKET! Martin Guptill lbw b Steven Finn 5

Finn's yorker is inch perfect, swinging in to Guptill's pads and hitting him plumb in front of middle stump. No doubt about that one.

1st over: New Zealand 6-0 (Guptill 1, Nicol 5)

Danny Briggs begins the attack for England. Left arm spin finds some turn immediately. Nicol takes a trot down the track and fires the first boundary of the innings. There follows a right hash in the field as England waste a guilt-edged run out chance. Jos Buttler at point threw to the wrong end with Nicol stranded.

10.59: Right, here we go. England to win this one at a canter. Right

10.52: Right, here come the players. We'll have anthems, the Haka and then we're off and running. Haka's optional, mind.

10.45: So: Would you move Eoin Morgan up the batting order lest he's kicking his heels while England do their utmost to chuck in the towel Email and twitter above. Tar.

Broad appeal: England are already battling to stay involved in the tournament

Broad appeal: England are already battling to stay involved in the tournament

Broad appeal: England are already battling to stay involved in the tournament

10.40: Team news: New Zealand have won the toss and will bat first. The Kiwis are without Jacob Oram, he's replaced by Doug Bracewell. England swap Danny Briggs and Tim Bresnan for Samit Patel and Jade Dernbach. That's your lot.

10.30am: England's Twenty20 hopes could all-but end today. Who would have thought that After the 15 run defeat to West Indies, Stuart Broad's side must overcome New Zealand to be confident of moving into the semi-finals.

Defeat – if Sri Lanka also beat West Indies later on at Pallekele – will spell the end already of their attempt to defend the only International Cricket Council trophy they have ever won.

Broad's side made the worst possible start against the Windies. and were 0-2 from the first two deliveries – a situation the captain does not want to see another repeat of that.

'What we have to do is stop losing early wickets,' he said.

'It has not been the same guy every time, but the number three has been in in the first couple of overs in every game we've played – which is not good enough.

'That can really hurt you.'

Hurt you it will. Time for Hales and Kieswetter to prove their value at the top of the order and time for England to really get their tournament firing.

Work to do: England cricket captain Stuart Broad talks with coach Andy Flower

Work to do: England cricket captain Stuart Broad talks with coach Andy Flower

England beaten by Wwst Indies in Super Eights

Gayle leads England a merry dance as Windies claim Super Eights victory

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UPDATED:

18:08 GMT, 27 September 2012

ICC World Twenty20 champions England
suffered a second successive setback as they began their Super Eight
campaign with a 15-run defeat against West Indies at Pallekele.

Eoin Morgan (71no) and Alex Hales
(68) did their best to rescue an unlikely victory, in pursuit of 179 for
five. But in the end, with 23 required off Marlon Samuels' final over,
England had left themselves with just too much to do.

West Indies' bowler Chris Gayle dances

West Indies' bowler Chris Gayle dances

Lord of the dance: Chris Gayle celebrates dismissal of England's Jonny Bairstow

Lord of the dance: Chris Gayle celebrates dismissal of England's Jos Buttler
England v West Indies

England: C Kieswetter (wkt), AD Hales, LJ Wright, EJG Morgan, JM Bairstow, JC Buttler, SR Patel, SCJ Broad (capt), GP Swann, ST Finn, JW Dernbach

West Indies: J Charles, CH Gayle, MN Samuels, DJ Bravo, KA Pollard, D Ramdin (wkt), AD Russell, DJG Sammy (capt), SP Narine, R Rampaul, S Badree

Umpires: S Davis (Aus) and A Rauf (Pak)

Third umpire: A Dar (Pak)

Match referee: J Srinath (Ind)

Click here to read the full scorecard

England wrote off their heaviest loss, and lowest total, in this sprint format against India in Colombo on Sunday as a blip.

On thursday night, there was a much better performance but more disappointment too after they fell short of a tough but achievable target with 164 for four on a decent pitch.

Johnson Charles (84) and Chris Gayle (58) both clubbed half-centuries, after West Indies won the toss; then England's reply suffered a telling initial stumble, before opener Hales and back-to-form Morgan kept them in the contest with a century stand and seven sixes between them.

England's bowlers already knew all about master blaster Gayle, but might have been a little more surprised by his opening partner Charles.

After a stand of 103, Gayle was first to go. But 23-year-old St Lucian Charles, without a century in any form of professional cricket, stayed the course to record his maiden Twenty20 international 50.

On the attacK: Gayle hits a four off England's Steven Finn

On the attacK: Gayle hits a four off England's Steven Finn

Safe hands: Finn takes a catch to dismiss West Indies' Chris Gayle

Safe hands: Finn takes a catch to dismiss West Indies' Chris Gayle

England, by contrast, began their reply
by losing two wickets for no runs in the first three balls to Ravi
Rampaul – and even though Hales responded with 50 containing five fours
and two sixes, and Morgan reached his half-century in a tournament
joint-record 25 balls, it was never going to be quite enough.

Charles had earlier hit 10 fours and three sixes, before mistiming another attempted big hit to long-on off Jade Dernbach.

Gayle predictably first signalled his intent with three fours in one over from Dernbach.

Up for it: West indies bowler Ravi Rampaul (centre) celebrates the dismisal of Craig Kieswetter

Up for it: West indies bowler Ravi Rampaul (centre) celebrates the dismisal of Craig Kieswetter

Impressive: Eoin Morgan plundered 71

Impressive: Eoin Morgan plundered 71

The powerplay yielded a near par 47, but without loss, and that proved to be a platform for the Windies openers to up the ante.

Gayle had one minor moment of fortune on 29 when a wrong-footed Morgan,
perhaps losing the ball in the bright floodlights, found himself
over-committed as the big left-hander pulled Samit Patel high to the
boundary.

The Irishman might have had a chance of holding an important catch, had
he been able to retreat to the fence, but instead saw the first of three
sixes in the over sail over his head.

Those three sixes and six fours took Gayle past 50 in only 29 balls, and the West Indies were in three figures in the 11th over.

Close call: Morgan makes his ground under pressure from Ravi Rampaul

Close call: Morgan makes his ground under pressure from Ravi Rampaul

Clean bowled: England's Alex Hales is dismissed by Marlon Samuel

Clean bowled: England's Alex Hales is dismissed by Marlon Samuel

England should have had a much-needed breakthrough when Steven Finn put down Charles on 39 off Graeme Swann at long-off.

But England would doubtless have swapped that for what happened off the
very next ball, Finn holding his nerve this time to cling on at long-on
and see the back of Gayle.

England celebrated appropriately, and soon had number three Samuels
cheaply too – caught at point by Morgan as Stuart Broad interrupted the
Windies' flow with a wicket-maiden.

Charles was still at large, but England recalled Finn early to test
Kieron Pollard with pace – a move that worked instantly, as the big
hitter skied a catch to the cover boundary from the first ball of the
over to go for just a single.

Watching brief: The England dug out

Watching brief: The England dug out

The openers apart, only Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell managed
double-figures – and their last-over assault on Dernbach helped to
produce 15 runs, to make the Windies marginal favourites at the
interval.

Three balls after it, their position had strengthened somewhat.

Rampaul's double-wicket maiden saw Craig Kieswetter lob a short ball to
cover for a second-ball duck, and Luke Wright edge some extra bounce to
slip to put the seamer on a hat-trick.

Jonny Bairstow, promoted ahead of Morgan, survived that early crisis.

Hales escaped a 'double-play' on 31 – when he should have been stumped
off Samuel Badree, and then run out had a direct hit come in from short
fine-leg as he stole a bye.

Bairstow's innings was a particular struggle, ending when he finally hit
one well enough down the ground off Gayle but was very well-caught by
Pollard running round from long-on.

Hales and Morgan joined forces with little realistic hope of a
successful chase but had enough firepower to make the Windies sweat
right to the end.

World Twenty20 2012: Stuart Broad – England must beware minnows

Broad issues stark warning to England team-mates: Beware the minnows

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UPDATED:

22:34 GMT, 20 September 2012

England have beaten South Africa, Australia and Pakistan in the last nine days and go into their World Twenty20 opener knowing a win against Afghanistan would guarantee their progress to the next stage.

Simple Well, not when one remembers they lost to Holland in their first match of the 2009 tournament and almost did the same against Ireland in the Caribbean a year later before Duckworth-Lewis rescued them.

The shorter the game, the more chance of an upset. In Afghanistan, England face one of the better ‘minnows’ who pushed India all the way in Group A’s first match on Wednesday before falling 23 runs short.

Focused: Broad takes strike during a nets session on Thursday

Focused: Broad takes strike during a nets session on Thursday

How they line-up in Colombo

England (probable): Hales, Kieswetter (wkt), Wright, Morgan, Buttler, Bairstow, Bresnan, Broad (capt), Swann, Finn, Dernbach.

Afghanistan (probable): Shahzad (wkt), Mangal (capt), Sadiq, Stanikzai, Nabi, Shenwari, Shafiqullah, Naib, Najibullah, Dawlat, Shapoor.

Afghanistan have had to overcome long odds just to be here and England must hit the ground running at the R Premadasa Stadium if they are to stop them defying life and logic for a little longer.

There was a relaxed confidence about England at nets. The serene atmosphere at the historic Nondescripts Ground was summed up by a synchronised swimming team practising in the club’s pool just beyond the boundary while England went through a gentle session of their own.

The Lion Sleeps Tonight was the swimmers’ music of choice but England’s lions need to be wide awake if they are not to suffer a defeat that would leave the defending champions facing elimination almost before they have started.

Defence begins: England start the defence of their T20 title with Bairstow and Swann likely to figure

Off and running: England start the defence of their T20 title with Bairstow likely to figure but Briggs may miss out

Off and running: England start the defence of their title with Bairstow likely to figure but Briggs may miss out

‘Afghanistan aren’t going to hold back, that’s for sure,’ said England Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad. ‘It will be important we keep our cool. You have to accept in Twenty20 that the ball will fly around at some stage, but as long as we stick to what we do well, we’ll be fine.’

This is Broad’s first chance to have a proper run at leadership instead of the odd match here and there. Already, there are signs that he will be a different captain to both Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook, whose instincts are conservative. Broad, in contrast, bristles with intent and competitiveness.

‘I would say my instincts are attacking,’ said a rare example of a bowling captain. ‘I like to take wickets and in Twenty20 cricket, you have to risk a boundary to take a wicket. But it’s important for a bowler to know what he wants to do and if any of them don’t agree with the way I approach things, I’m more than happy for them to take responsibility.’

Relaxed: The England players shared a joke as they lined-up for the team photo

Relaxed: The England players shared a joke as they lined-up for the team photo

Relaxed: The England players shared a joke as they lined-up for the team photo

England won the last World Twenty20 by sticking to rigid plans. While Broad emphasised that will again be important, he insisted he will be flexible, as he showed by asking Danny Briggs to open the bowling at the last moment in their warm-up victory over Pakistan.

Whether the success of that move will earn Briggs a place remains to be seen. England are likely to buck this tournament’s trend for spin. With Broad, Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach and Graeme Swann all looking certain picks, it is hard to see how the Hampshire protege fits in. Briggs will be sweating on how the wicket appears, as will Tim Bresnan and Samit Patel.

Whoever England pick, Broad is delighted with the squad. There was even the rarity of a whole press conference passing yesterday without anyone mentioning KP.

TV’s newest pundit is sensibly keeping his distance while he works for ESPN Star, with his studio and hotel an hour away from England’s base. /09/20/article-0-053BC01D000005DC-899_624x415.jpg” width=”624″ height=”415″ alt=”Dutch courage: Broad's face says it all as Ryan ten Doeschate celebrates” class=”blkBorder” />

England v IRELAND (Bangalore, World Cup – March 2, 2011)

Kevin O’Brien hit 113 off 63 balls as Ireland recovered from 111 for five to reach their target of 328 with five balls to spare and three wickets in hand.

Irish eyes are smiling: England were sunk by O'Brien's stunning innings

BANGLADESH v England (Chittagong, World Cup – March 11, 2011)

An heroic ninth-wicket stand between Shafiul Islam and Mahmudullah turned the tables on England. The pair put on 58 from 56 balls, helping to achieve a total of 227 for eight and a two-wicket win.

Painful viewing: Andrew Strauss can't bear to watch as Shafiul Islam and Mahmudullah celebrate the winning runs

Buttler and Kieswetter team up to blitz South Africa as England level T20 series

Buttler and Kieswetter team up to blitz South Africa as England level T20 series

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UPDATED:

22:39 GMT, 12 September 2012

England leave for Sri Lanka on Wednesday galvanised for the defence of their World Twenty20 title by some extraordinary hitting from the gifted Jos Buttler.

The Somerset batsman has long been one of the most exciting, innovative strikers of a cricket ball in the domestic game but had yet to bring that talent to the international stage until Wednesday's final truncated game of a largely forgettable season.

England retained faith in him even though his top score in 11 limited-overs games had been 13.

Lynchpin: Craig Kieswetter hit 50

Lynchpin: Craig Kieswetter hit 50

He repaid them by blitzing South
Africa in a 28-run victory in the third and final Twenty20 international
at Edgbaston that levelled this short-form series.

Buttler smashed 32 off 10 balls,
Wayne Parnell disappearing for 32 off one over, as England racked up 118
for five in a game reduced to 11 overs a side by more Birmingham rain.

It was always going to be too many
for South Africa, who achieved their primary aim from this tour when
they defeated England 2-0 in the Test series.

There were two of Buttler's trademark
scoops for four and three sixes off Parnell, the first a huge hit which
almost reached the top deck of Edgbaston's towering new pavilion.

Destructive: Jos Buttler's unbeaten 32 came from one Wayne Parnell over

Destructive: Jos Buttler's unbeaten 32 came from one Wayne Parnell over

Better days: Wayne Parnell was hit for 32 off one over during the T20 match

Better days: Wayne Parnell was hit for 32 off one over during the T20 match

Buttler over shadowed another
Somerset man in Craig Kieswetter, who hit three sixes in a half-century
from 32 balls that also augurs well for the challenges in Sri Lanka.

The pair of them smashed 48 in partnership off just 14 bal l s , a match-winning alliance.

Kieswetter was man of the match when
England defeated Australia to lift the World Twenty20 title in Barbados
two years ago and he will again be a key man when they begin their
defence against Afghanistan in Colombo next Friday.

England were helped by a shambolic
fielding display from a South Africa side who rested Dale Steyn in the
final match of their tour.

Morne Morkel produced possibly the
widest wide ever – step aside Steve Harmison – in an opening over that
cost 16 runs while Parnell bowled two no-balls in the second most
expensive over in Twenty20 international history.

The extraordinary Hashim Amla kept
South Africa in the hunt with 36 off 24 balls, taking his tally to 900
runs from 1,231 balls faced against England this summer while striking
his 100th boundary of the tour off Stuart Broad.

Yet, once Amla became one of two
victims in the same over by Graeme Swann, both caught by Jonny Bairstow
on the mid-wicket boundary, England were on course for a victory which
enabled them to draw both limited-overs series after their Test
humbling.

There was another encouraging sign
for Sri Lanka in the Twenty20 international debut of left-arm spinner
Danny Briggs, who opened the bowling for England and took his first
wicket when Eoin Morgan caught Faf du Plessis.

I think that's out: Kieswetter was bowled out by Morne Morkel

I think that's out: Kieswetter was bowled out by Morne Morkel

Star of the show: Buttler lit Edgbaston up with his brilliant display

Star of the show: Buttler lit Edgbaston up with his brilliant display

England captain Broad said: 'We were trying to predict what Jos was going to do next and we never got it right.

'It's always good when a batsman can
hit it on to the top tier or over his head and that batting won us the
match. We're excited about the talent in this squad.'

It will enable England, weakened by
the absence of Kevin Pietersen, to travel in better heart than seemed
possible when thrashed in the first Twenty 20 international.

They will face India as well as
Afghanistan in the first stage of the tournament but will probably have
to defeat only the minnows to reach the Super Eights stage of the most
entertaining of the ICC's global limited – overs tournaments.

If they do that, as they showed in the Caribbean last time, anything can happen.

Kevin Pietersen not in England one-day squads

Pietersen exile continues as fallen star is left out of one-day and World T20 squads

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UPDATED:

08:54 GMT, 21 August 2012

Kevin Pietersen has, as expected, been left out of England's squads for the upcoming one-day international series against South Africa and next month's World Twenty20 competition in Sri Lanka.

Pietersen performed a U-turn earlier this month in declaring himself available for all three formats of the game after he had retired from 50-over and 20-over cricket at the start of the summer.

But the ongoing friction between Pietersen, the ECB and his England team-mates following the 'textgate' saga has ultimately lost him his place in the side.

Axed: Pietersen is not included in either of England's squad

Axed: Pietersen is not included in either of England's squads

More to follow…

NatWest ODI Series squad:

Alastair Cook (Essex) (captain)
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire)
Ian Bell (Warwickshire)
Ravi Bopara (Essex)
Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire)
Jade Dernbach (Surrey)
Steven Finn (Middlesex)
Craig Kieswetter (Somerset)
Eoin Morgan (Middlesex)
Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire)
Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire)
Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)
Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)

NatWest T20 Squad:

Stuart Broad (Notts) (captain)
Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire)
Ravi Bopara (Essex)
Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire)
Danny Briggs (Hampshire)
Jos Buttler (Somerset)
Jade Dernbach (Surrey)
Steven Finn (Middlesex)
Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire)
Craig Kieswetter (Somerset)
Michael Lumb (Nottinghamshire)
Eoin Morgan (Middlesex)
Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire)
Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire)
Luke Wright (Sussex)

Andrew Strauss: England will fight to prove we belong at No 1

England will fight to prove we belong at No 1, says Strauss as Smith plots another win on tour

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UPDATED:

21:38 GMT, 18 July 2012

Andrew Strauss has called on England’s Test side to prove they are worthy of the world No 1 ranking ahead of the three-match series against South Africa.

England must avoid defeat to hold on to the top spot they stole from India last summer, and Strauss said: ‘South Africa are a very fine side and they’ll be determined to knock us off our perch. There will be an extra bit of spice, but every series I’ve played against South Africa has always been very keenly contested and I don’t think this will be different. It will be a good gauge for us. The rankings say we are No 1 and we have to prove that.’

Pitch battle: Andrew Strauss and Graeme Smith will fight it out to be top of the Test rankings

Pitch battle: Andrew Strauss and Graeme Smith will fight it out to be top of the Test rankings

South Africa captain Graeme Smith knows a repeat of his side’s series win here four years ago will see them top the rankings.

‘I guess being chased by a pack does come with pressure,’ he said. Smith, who will win his 100th Test cap, insisted South Africa have been the best all-round team in recent years. They have not lost an away series since going down 2-0 in Sri Lanka in 2006, and he said: ‘In all conditions I think we’ve been the most consistent team over a period of time.’

England's T20 squad

Broad (Notts, capt), Anderson
(Lancs), Bairstow (Yorks), Batty (Surrey), Bell (Warks), Bopara
(Essex), Borthwick (Durham), Bresnan (Yorks), Briggs (Hants), Buttler
(Somerset), Cook (Essex), Croft (Lancs), Davies (Surrey), Dernbach
(Surrey), Finn (Middx), Hales (Notts), Kieswetter (Somerset), Lumb
(Notts), Meaker (Surrey), Morgan (Middx), Onions (Durham), Patel
(Notts), Prior (Sussex), Root (Yorks), Stokes (Durham), Swann (Notts),
Taylor (Notts), Tredwell (Kent), Woakes (Warks), Wright (Sussex).

Meanwhile, England have, as expected, omitted Kevin Pietersen from their provisional 30-man squad for September’s defence of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka. His agent Adam Wheatley said: ‘It’s a shame for cricket fans. If there is a compromise to be reached we’d be happy to assist, but from what I sense, this decision is final.’

There is room in the squad for Alastair Cook, the 50-over captain who has not played a Twenty20 international since November 2009.

There are recalls too for Ian Bell and Matt Prior, and Yorkshire’s uncapped 21-year old opener Joe Root and Lancashire batsman Steven Croft are included.

Stuart Broad confident England can cope without Kevin Pietersen

Twenty20 skipper Broad confident England can cope without retiring KP

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UPDATED:

12:58 GMT, 23 June 2012

Captain Stuart Broad believes England can cover the loss of the recently-retired Kevin Pietersen with their World Twenty20 defence looming large on the horizon.

England will begin life after Pietersen, man of the series when they won the Twenty20 title two years ago, in a one-off match against West Indies at Trent Bridge on Sunday.

With just four games to go before Broad's side fly out to Sri Lanka to defend their world crown in September, there is little time to plug the gap of one of the world's most feared batsmen.

Looking to the future: Broad will lead England in Sri Lanka

Looking to the future: Broad will lead England in Sri Lanka

To do so England will rely on a group of inexperienced batsmen with Alex Hales, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler and Samit Patel having no more than eight Twenty20 international appearances.

Broad, who with 34 appearances is England's most capped Twenty20 player, is confident in his young charges can fill the breach though.

'Kevin is a world-class Twenty20 player so of course it is disappointing that he is not with us, but it's a great opportunity for someone else to put their hand up and stake a claim for that spot,' said Broad, who will celebrate turning 26 on Sunday by captaining his country in front of his home crowd.

'We've got an exciting group of players in that changing room and everyone is really excited about getting on that field and doing the job.

'We have quite a short period of time and a short number of games until that World Cup so you want to make as much use of that as possible when we do get the opportunity.'

End of an era: Pietersen has called time on his ODI career

End of an era: Pietersen has called time on his ODI career

Broad admitted he would look to the likes of Eoin Morgan to lead his young batting unit, despite the left-hander's lack of cricket this summer.

After falling out of favour in the Test side, and limited opportunities in the one-day series due to the form of openers Alastair Cook and Ian Bell, Morgan has become a forgotten man in the England side.

But Broad believes he can remind all of his undoubted class and take a lead role on Sunday.

'Very much so. We've seen some amazing performances from Eoin in Twenty20 cricket and one-dayers for a long time,' he said.

'He's now probably our most experienced batsman in that set-up.

Key man: England are expecting big things from Eoin Morgan

Key man: England are expecting big things from Eoin Morgan

'Obviously we'll be looking to him to make big contributions and share his experiences with the guys in the squad.

'He's a key cog for us now in this England team and I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do tomorrow.

'He's always played a more prominent role, he's up there as one of the best Twenty20 batsmen in the world.

'I think the role he has done for us over the past two years has been fantastic with his variety against the spin and his death hitting. He'll be looking to continue that on.'